There has been an emergence of thrifting and vintage clothing sales in recent years as this generation has become one that loves throwback styles from the ‘60s through the ‘90s.
Atelier, a vintage clothing store, is bringing the people of Auburn a variety of the throwback looks they want without having to put in the effort of searching hopelessly through an unorganized thrift store for a lucky find.
The idea for this business was born in Wetumpka, Alabama, when three high school friends with a passion for vintage clothing decided to come together to create something they could share with everyone.
Co-founders Alex Tunnell, Abby Heinzen and Hayden Shepherd made their business idea a reality when they moved to Auburn for college and brought their love for vintage clothing to the Auburn community.
“The first thing I always notice about somebody is just the way they dress, and to me, style has always been how I express myself,” Tunnell said.
Tunnell has had this passion since before high school when he first became interested in selling and buying vintage clothing and sneakers.
He said he takes pride in educating himself on every brand he buys and has gained a lot of experience over the years in this niche of business.
Sign up for our newsletter
Get The Plainsman straight to your inbox.
“When I moved to Auburn, I just wanted to start something that meant I could spread my knowledge and bring it to other people in the area,” Tunnell said.
Heinzen focuses on picking out women’s clothing for the shop, while Shepherd does menswear. Tunnell focuses on sneakers and men’s clothing, as well.
Their merchandise started out as mainly thrift-store finds, but as Atelier has grown, they said they have had the opportunity to work with second-hand pickers and travel to stores in bigger cities to build relationships with other vintage store owners.
Their shop has a wide variety of rare items from more well-known brands such as Tommy Hilfiger and Nike to vintage graphic tees and old-school sneakers.
“Everything we pick, we have a specific person in mind when we pick it out,” Tunnell said.
Heinzen said part of the reason they decided to go with local pop-up shops rather than an online store was because it is important to them to build personal relationships with customers and get to know what people are looking for so they can find that for them.
“We believe that style builds confidence,” Tunnell said.
The Atelier team said they strive to have clothing that allows every person to express themselves and build their confidence through what they wear.
“A lot of people have come up to us and said, ‘I really like what you’re wearing, but I could never wear that,’ but yes, you can, and you can find it because we picked it for you,” Heinzen said.
The business is purely pop-up shops and Instagram based for now, but Tunnell and Heinzen said they will be opening a permanent storefront in Auburn before the end of 2019.
Do you like this story? The Plainsman doesn't accept money from tuition or student fees, and we don't charge a subscription fee. But you can donate to support The Plainsman.Support The Plainsman